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Nouran Gohar in round one action yesterday

Women's World Champs: Round Two - Reports & Comment

The CIB PSA Women's World Championship round two takes place today at the Shooting Club 6th of October in Cairo, Egypt.

Round one took place yesterday with a few surprise results as the drama of the World Championship took centre stage. Today, will see the top half of the draw go to battle in round two for a chance to play on the all-glass court in front of the Great Pyrmaid of Giza.

World No.1 Raneem El Welily will be in action, along with 2019 U.S. Open winner Nouran Gohar, last season's runner-up Nour El Tayeb and England's No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry.

You can keep up with the live scores from the event here.

You can also follow reports and reaction from the players right here.

Schedule – all times local (GMT+2)
Court Three
12:45 [29] Julianne Courtice (ENG) v [11] Alison Waters (ENG)
14:15 [13] Salma Hany (EGY) v Alexandra Fuller (RSA)

16:00 [25] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
17:30 [1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [18] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)

Court Four
12:45 [L] Aifa Azman (MAS) v [26] Tinne Gilis (BEL)
14:15 [31] Coline Aumard (FRA) v [9] Tesni Evans (WAL)
16:00 [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [24] Rachael Grinham (AUS)
17:30 [17] Nele Gilis (BEL) v [4] Nouran Gohar (EGY)

Gilis and Waters Reach Round Three

Tinne Gilis

Belgium’s World No.26 Tinne Gilis booked her place in the third round of the Women’s World Championship after she defeated Malaysia’s World No.89 Aifa Azman in straight games.

17-year-old Azman caused one of the upsets of the tournament in round one after she took out World No.17 Joey Chan. However, the Malaysian teenager was unable to continue that run as she came undone by a clinical Gilis, who played with confidence to despatch Azman by an 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 scoreline.

The Belgian will either face older sister, Nele, or World No.5 Nouran Gohar in the third round.

“I started this tournament very focused,” said Gilis, who reached round three of the event for the first time, afterwards.

“I have already lost twice against her, so I felt that all of the pressure was on her and not on me this time. I just tried to enjoy my squash more and that was the key actually. I stuck to my game plan, I’m really happy about yesterday’s win and today it made me relaxed. She beat Joey Chan yesterday, so I knew she was good and that it was going to be a good match today regardless. I’m happy with my performance.

“It’s like a dream come true to be able to play in front of the Pyramids. The court is so beautiful and I’m so looking forward to it.”

Alison Waters (right) Julianne Courtice (left)

Elsewhere, England’s former World No.3 Alison Waters secured a third round berth after defeating compatriot, Julianne Courtice, by an 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 scoreline.

“I was delighted to get a 3-0 win, Jules is a fantastic player, so I knew it was going to be a tough battle,” said Waters.

“Even though it was 3-0, every game was really close, I think we were 7-7 in the first two, but I’m really pleased to get the win and looking forward to getting on the glass next.

“I played in front of the Pyramids a few years ago and it was incredible, and it was a real motivation to get onto the glass.

“It’s a huge event here and it’s really good prize money and it being at the Pyramids as well, you can’t really top that venue. It’s a fantastic set-up for the World Championships.”

[26] Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt [L] Aifa Azman (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 (26m)
[11] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [29] Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (33m)

Evans and Hany Reach Third Round

Tesni Evans in action against Coline Aumard

Wales’ World No.9 Tesni Evans continued her progression in Cairo after defeating France’s World No.37 Coline Aumard by an 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 scoreline.

The Welshwoman, who defeated Canada’s Nicole Bunyan in 19 minutes yesterday, continued her strong run of form in Egypt as she manouvered past Aumard in straight-games to book her place on the all-glass court in front of the Pyramids.

“Coline is a really tough player,” said Welsh World No.9 Evans afterwards.

“I saw some of her match yesterday and she is playing really well and having some good results. She is physical and difficult to play against, so I’m really happy to get off 3-0.

“I’m so excited to be able to play in front of the Pyramids now. My goal at the start of the tournament was to try and get through to be able to play on that court. I came a couple of years ago and didn’t make it through to play on the glass, so I’m really excited and it has to be on top of everyone’s list to play there.”

Salma Hany

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Salma Hany eased past South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller by an 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 scoreline in 29 minutes.

The Egyptian World No.15 was in dominant form in the opening two games, finding all of her targets with ease. Fuller, who caused an upset by defeating England’s Emily Whitlock yesterday, mounted a comeback in the third to take an 8-2 lead, however, Hany soon reigned her back in to claim the victory.

“Alex had an amazing win yesterday,” said Hany following her win. “She is a very good player and has been pushing the top players, so I had to be prepared for this match. As the match before went on forever, I was very well warmed up and very focused from the first rally onwards.

“All my shots were going into the nick, that’s probably why I enjoyed it so much and why I’m happy with my game. I was moving well, and very happy to be out there but I was ready to fight. This is the second round of the Worlds, everybody is playing very well. Last time I didn’t get to the last 16, so I told myself you have to fight for it, come on court with a game and if that doesn’t work, find another way to get it.

“In the third, I was down 8-2. I was a bit passive and she came out so strong, I thought she was going to get tired, but she played so well. I didn’t want to let go because you never know what might happen if you let her get a game.

“I’m so excited to play in front of the Pyramids. Would you believe the photoshoot we did for the promo of the event was actually the first time ever I was actually standing at the Pyramids? So I’m really looking forward to play out there, whoever I’m playing, I’m going to make the most of it, and enjoy my time.”

[9] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [31] Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (28m)
[13] Salma Hany (EGY) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (29m)

El Tayeb Beats Elaraby to Reach Pyramids Stage

Nour El Tayeb (left) v Rowan Elaraby (right)

In a meeting of two former World Junior Champions, it was current World No.3 Nour El Tayeb who got the better of fellow Egyptian Rowan Elaraby to earn a coveted spot on the glass court in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza in round three.

The pair had met two weeks ago at the U.S. Open winning in a comfortable 3-0 rout, but this time around she was tested hard by the 19-year-old with three of the four games being won by a two-point margin.

El Tayeb won 13-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 to set up a third round clash with World No.15 Salma Hany, which will take place in front of one of the sport’s most spectacular backdrops.

“It was a very tough performance, she's getting better every match,” said El Tayeb.

“We played just 10 days ago, but she seems to be playing better and better and seems to have figured me out a lot better. I fell into the trap of being match ball up and thinking that the match was over, but I was very glad that I was able to come back in the fourth and win.

“It's going to be very tough [against Hany]. We train a lot together, we've played so many times in PSA tournaments, so it's going to be very tough, but I'm looking forward to it.

“It's the one tournament you want to do well at, especially in front of the Pyramids and with it being the World Championship. I'm sure there is going to be a lot of pressure on both of us, but hopefully we can enjoy it and play well.”

[5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [25] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-1: 13-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 (47m)

Perry Conquers Former World Champion Grinham

Sarah-Jane Perry (left) Rachael Grinham (right)

England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry has set up a British showdown with Welshwoman Tesni Evans in round three of the Women’s World Championship after she overcame Australia’s former World No.1 Rachael Grinham.

The World No.7 has faced 42-year-old Grinham twice this year, with both players taking one victory apiece with the Australian stunning the Englishwoman at the Texas Open. However, Perry made sure she took no chances today as she comfortably nullified Grinham to take an 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 victory.

“She’s really tricky and I definitely know that, because she beat me earlier this year in Texas,” said Birmingham-born Perry afterwards.

“Although we’ve played since then and I won, it wasn’t comfortable. No matter how much you think you have control of a rally or game, she’s very good at breaking everything up and playing the shot that you least expect.

“I tried to make it so that she had to hit a really good shot to win the rally rather than just catching me out. I tried to push forward, so I could cover the front because I know she likes to hit lots of different angles, she still caught me out on a few but I thought I did quite well at covering the majority.

“No match is ever a given at any of the tournaments, so I just wanted to find my rhythm and hopefully that was good enough and I managed to win most of the rallies.

“Tesni and I played in the last 16 of the last World Champs, but I had literally just come back from elbow surgery – that was my first tournament back. She beat me and has beaten me a few times over the last couple of years and I have beaten her a few times as well.

“It is going to be a really interesting match and I’m really happy to be on the glass court in front of the Pyramids now. I’ve got good memories on there and me and Tesni have played a lot of times now and it has become a bit of a British rivalry with England v Wales, but we’re actually very good friends off court.

“We will both leave everything out there, so I think it will be a great match.”

[7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [24] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (21m)

Gohar Eases Past Gilis

Nouran Gohar (left) Nele Gilis (right)

Egypt’s World No.5 Nouran Gohar eased past Belgium’s World No.19 Nele Gilis to book her place in the third round of the presitigous World Championship.

The last time the two played was a topsy turvy battle at the U.S. Open earlier this month, where Gilis put the Egyptian under pressure. However, this time proved to be much more straightforward for the 2019 U.S. Open victor as she came out of the blocks firing to take a one game lead by an 11-1 scoreline before charging to a 11-1, 11-5, 11-5 win in 28 minutes.

Gohar will now face Nele’s younger sister, Tinne, in the next round in front of the Pyramids.

“Last time it was really tough out there playing against Nele,” said Gohar after. “It went 1-1 in the games. It was tough and the conditions were a bit different, the court was bouncy and it was really hot and she managed to play better last time.

“The conditions suited me better today, the court was cooler and the back corners were a little dead, so I managed to get these on my side and play in a different way to win in three.

“Winning the U.S. Open was huge for me, I was just trying to not be too happy coming into this event. You are coming into the World Championships, so I just tried to forget about the U.S. Open – obviously it gave me a huge boost but each opponent is playing really well and want to be at their best because it’s the World Championship.

“It was a little bit tricky to play this tournament straight after the U.S. Open but I am just trying to take each game and forget about the U.S. Open and I’m really looking forward to my next match.

“It feels extra special to be playing on the glass court. The last time we had a tournament there, I didn’t get to play on the glass because I lost first round, so to make it to the glass court in front of the Pyramids is huge and I can’t wait to be there on Sunday.”

[4] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [17] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-1, 11-5, 11-5 (28m)

El Welily Ousts Blatchford Clyne

World No.1 Raneem El Welily continued her assault on this season’s World Championship trophy with a hard-fought 3-0 win over United States No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne.

The pair were meeting for the sixth time on the PSA Tour, with El Welily claiming wins in all five of their previous fixtures, though she did drop a game against the 26-year-old the last time they played at last month’s Oracle NetSuite Open.

The match was closer than the scoreline suggested, with Blatchford Clyne testing El Welily at times, particularly in the opening two games, with the Egyptian needing to make the most of her shot-making skills to emerge victorious.

“All in all, I was very prepared for Olivia today given how well she is playing this season,” said El Welily after her 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 triumph.

“She must be very disappointed to go out in the second round of this tournament. I honestly think with her level of squash this season she could have gone further. I wish her all the best in her next tournament.

“They were very close games in terms of our technique and tactics, but I’m definitely happy to come out with a 3-0 win. It’s definitely not easy against Olivia and I’m excited to be moving to the glass court, fingers crossed it doesn’t rain.

“It’s definitely very good for us [playing at the Pyramids] but I’m not really thinking about it that much. I’m thinking about the glass court, that’s all it is for me. We’ve been looking at the Pyramids all week long, so by now it’s okay for me.

El Welily will line up against the experienced Alison Waters in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza – where she won the Al Ahram Open in 2016 – and she is anticipating a tough battle with the veteran.

“I actually hit with her [Alison] yesterday, and I don’t think we’ve hit together for a while. The last time we played was the World Champs again in Chicago in February. We haven’t played a lot like we used to in the past, but she’s a very tough opponent and very experienced.”

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [18] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 (32m)

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